Looking to take your manufacturing to the next level? Want to boost productivity while cutting down on manpower costs? If so, integrating new technology is the best way to go about it. From conveyor systems to powered vehicles and forklifts, several new techs will elevate your company. However, if you’re new to the world of technology you probably have all kinds of questions regarding what it takes to integrate new technology into material handling. To help address these concerns, here is what you need to know about how new tech integration to material handling can improve operations.
How New Tech Integration to Material Handling Can Improve Operations
Performing A Facility Audit
Before you want to jump into the world of higher technology you will want to perform a complete facility audit. This audit will look into every aspect of your material handling business. From how materials flow throughout the facility to how employees handle them. It will look at safety concerns and consider what kinds of technology will both potentially improve or reduce worker safety.
The audit will look at how large your facility is and whether there is space to allow automated vehicles to move through sections of the warehouse. You need to have a complete picture regarding what will work and what is out of reach without significant facility changes. This may also help you decide what kind of facility changes you want to make. Perhaps you’ve been considering several upgrades and building expansions but you were not sure where to begin. This audit will help with exploring the every aspect for new tech integration to material handling.
How Will It Impact Your Business As A Whole?
This is often an overlooked area of bringing new technology into a facility. Many business owners will develop tunnel vision when they see certain technology they like. You might look at a powered vehicle and see its potential to pick up more boxes and move them throughout the facility faster, but you might not take into consideration the impact it has on other employees and tasks. Often, when a business does not take a step back and look at the impact new technologies will have on all areas of the business it can end up causing more problems than anything else. Perhaps you invest in a new forklift but it blocks the movement of other employees, forcing them to go around the entire facility. While the forklift might help one employee complete tasks faster, it might force others to take ten times the amount of time to complete their own.
So before you invest in any kind of new technology, look at your business as a whole, not just the departments.
Training Will Change
As is the case with any kind of new tech integration to material handling facility, the training and policies for your company will need to change. If you suddenly have forklifts driving throughout the building you will need to make sure everyone is aware of the moving equipment. To keep everyone safe you will need to train everyone who not only will be using the equipment but who might be around the equipment.
You may need to adjust what employees can and cannot do in the building. Before bringing in machines and forklifts you might have allowed employees to wear headphones and listen to music as they picked up packaging throughout the warehouse. Now though, with the forklift and other powered vehicles driving through you’ll want to make sure everyone hears the vehicle driving about, and wearing headphones makes this difficult. To ensure you maintain safety it might be necessary to prevent employees from wearing headphones.
Talk With Your Employees
If you haven’t worked on the floor in a while (or ever) you may not have a full understanding of how each employee performs their job. You know what they do, but you might not know how they do it. Without asking them about their job and how they perform it you might be undermining their work capability by bringing in new technology. In your eyes, the new tech will improve productivity, but maybe the way the employee is doing their job manually is better? You don’t want to simply bring in new, flashy equipment just because it sounds good and you think it might help. Putting money into these kinds of new technology represents a sizable investment, so you want to make sure this investment will do your business good.
Don’t just talk to each employee individually though. You’ll also want to bring them all together and talk about the new technology. One employee might talk about some of the benefits the new technology will bring about, but at the same time, the implementation method they talk about might cause other employees problems. By talking it out and working with all your employees you’ll uncover what is best for everyone and your bottom line.
Bringing in new technology like powered vehicles can boost productivity in your business significantly, but you want to make sure it works out for everyone. The entire purpose of investing in this kind of technology is to help your business carry out more tasks in less time. As long as you put in the leg work, perform the necessary audits within the facility and talk with all your employees, you will uncover the very best new technology for your business. And if you ever need additional help, you can turn to the professionals at Gough Econ.
New Technology Can Improve Your Material Handling
It doesn’t matter what kind of goods you work with or how long you’ve been in business, new tech integration to material handling has the potential to dramatically improve productivity. However, you do not want to bring in new tech without firms performing these different steps. It will help you avoid costly mistakes along the way. If you have additional questions regarding the implementation of new technology into your material handling business or you’d like to begin consulting with experts who can help you make the best decision for your company, now is the time to contact Gough Econ.